(August 9, 2018 / JNS) Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon welcomed the new head of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
“Israel welcomes Major General Stefano Del Col, of Italy, on assuming the role as UNIFIL’s Head of Mission,” said Danon.
Stefano replaces Maj. Gen. Michael Beary of Ireland stepped down after four years as Head of Mission of UNIFIL on Tuesday.
“UNIFIL is an important force, with more than 10,000 soldiers,” Danon continued. “Its more robust mandate is designed to push back against the blatant, unauthorized arms buildup of Hezbollah, a proxy of Iran, in southern Lebanon. With a new commander, there is a new opportunity to fulfill more of this important mission.”
Since the Second Lebanon War in 2006, UNIFIL’s goal has been to restore peace and security to the Israeli-Lebanese border. Its mission includes monitoring land between the Blue Line and Litani River, keeping it clear of armed personnel, excluding Lebanon’s government or UNIFIL forces.
Last September, the United States and Israel worked together to expand UNIFIL’s role by authorizing patrols alongside Lebanese forces and mandating reports when peacekeepers run into Hezbollah checkpoints.